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Publication numberUS5510447 A
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 08/325,789
Publication dateApr 23, 1996
Filing dateOct 19, 1994
Priority dateMar 27, 1987
Fee statusLapsed
Also published asUS5244699, US5378546
Publication number08325789, 325789, US 5510447 A, US 5510447A, US-A-5510447, US5510447 A, US5510447A
InventorsFrank N. Jones, Der-Shyang Chen, Adel F. Dimian, Daozhang Wang
Original AssigneeNorth Dakota State University
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Polymeric vehicle for coatings
US 5510447 A
This invention relates to a polymeric vehicle comprising a modified polymer containing covalently bonded mesogenic groups. The modified polymer may be used as the sole component of the polymeric vehicle for a coating to which may be added solvents and known additives to provide a formulated coating. The polymeric vehicle may further include other modified or unmodified polymers and cross-linking resins. The polymeric vehicle provides a coating binder and coating film of high hardness, flexibility and impact resistance.
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What is claimed is:
1. A polyol which has the formula ##STR90## wherein x=1 to 10
R= ##STR91## R" and R""=an aliphatic or cycloaliphatic radical having 12 carbon atoms or less;
R'"=an aromatic radical having 10 carbon atoms or less, a cycloaliphatic radical having 12 carbon atoms or less, or an aliphatic radical having 36 carbon atoms or less;
n=5 to 16;
m=2 to 200; and
p=1 to 20.
2. A polyol as recited in claim 1 wherein R'=O(CH2)n O.
3. A polyol as recited in claim 1 wherein R'=Om.
4. A polyol as recited in claim 1 wherein R'= ##STR92##
5. A polyol as recited in claim 1 wherein R'=--O--p R""p --O--.
6. A polyol as recited in claim 1 wherein R'=Op R"O.

This is a division of application Ser. No. 08/036,820, filed Mar. 25, 1993, now U.S. Pat. No, 5,378,546 which is a continuation of Ser. No. 07/695,421, filed May 3, 1991, now U.S. Pat. No. 2,244,699 which is a division of Ser. No. 07/170,907, filed Mar. 21, 1988, now U.S. Pat. 5,043,192 which is a continuation-in-part of Ser. No. 07/168,231, filed Mar. 15, 1988, abandoned, which is a continuation-in-part of Ser. No. 86,504, filed Aug. 14, 1987, abandoned which is a continuation-in-part of Ser. Nos. 031,395 and 031,397, both filed on Mar. 27, 1987, now abandoned.


Liquid-crystal (L-C) polymers are known to form mesophases having one- and two-dimensional order as disclosed by Flory, P. J., Advances in Polymer Science, Liquid Crystal Polymers I; Springer-Verlag: New York (1984) Volume 59; Schwarz, J. Mackromol, Chem. Rapid Commun. (1986) 7, 21. Further, mesophases are well known to impart strength, toughness and thermal stability to plastics and fibers as described by Kwolek et al in Macromolecules (1977) 10, 1390; and by Dobb et al, Advances in Polymer Science, Liquid Crystal Polymers II/III (1986) 255(4), 179.

While L-C polymers have been widely studied, their potential utility as coatings binders seems to have been overlooked. Japanese patents claiming that p-hydroxybenzoic acid (PHBA), a monomer commonly used in L-C polymers, enhances the properties of polyester powder coatings are among the very few reports that may describe L-C polymers in coatings; Japanese Kokai 75/40,629 (1975) to Maruyama et al; Japanese Kokai 75/56,839 (1976) to Nakamura et al; Japanese Kokai 76/44,130 (1976) to Nogami et al; and Japanese Kokai 77/73,929 (1977) to Nogami et al.

Hardness and impact resistance are two desirable characteristics of coatings. However, because hardness is associated with higher Tg s (glass transition temperatures), and good impact resistance with lower Tg s, there is usually a trade-off between hardness and impact resistance. Further, non-baked polymeric vehicles with low viscosities which provide binder coating films with improved hardness and shorter drying times through combinations of polymers with mesogenic groups are not disclosed in the prior art and are to be desired.

An object of this invention is the provision of modified polymers comprising low Tg polymers covalently bonded with mesogenic groups for use in formulated coatings to provide improved films.

A more particular object of this invention is to provide enamels of improved hardness and impact resistance.

Other important objects are to provide high solids/low viscosity, non-baking formulated coatings comprising polymeric vehicles for providing films wherein the coating formulation is fast drying and provides hard and impact resistant films.

Still further objects and advantages of the invention will be found by reference to the following description.


FIG. 1 outlines the synthesis of modified alkyds.

FIG. 2 provides a thermogram of a modified alkyd.

FIG. 3 shows the effect of PHBA (parahydroxybenzoic acid) content in alkyd resins has on viscosity.

FIG. 4 shows the effect that solution solid content has on viscosity for alkyd resins.

FIG. 5 outlines the synthesis of modified acrylic copolymers.

FIG. 6 outlines the synthesis of modified acrylic copolymers with spacers.

FIGS. 7 and 8 show the effect that solution solid content has on viscosity for acrylic resins.

FIG. 9 shows phase diagrams for modified acrylic copolymers.

FIG. 10 shows thermograms of modified diols.


In accord with this invention a polymeric vehicle is prepared, the polymeric vehicle comprising a modified polymer containing covalently bonded mesogenic groups. This modified polymer may be used as the sole component of a polymeric vehicle for a coating, to which may be added solvents and known additives such as pigments, thereby providing a formulated coating. Optionally the polymeric vehicle comprises a modified polymer in a mixture with other polymers, modified or unmodified, and with cross-linking resins. Solvents and additives may be added to such a mixture of polymers and resins to make a formulated coating. An aspect of the invention is provision of a coating binder which is the polymer portion which includes the modified polymer, of a coating film which has high hardness, flexibility, and impact resistance. After the formulated coating is applied to a base or substrate, solvents (if present) evaporate leaving a solvent-free film. Evaporation may be accelerated by heating, as by baking. In some forms of the invention, no further chemical reaction is necessary to impart useful properties to the resulting solvent-free film. In other forms of the invention, optimum properties are attained only after chemical reactions occur within the film, forming covalent bonds and increasing the molecular weight of the modified polymer and usually converting it into a three-dimensional cross-linked polymeric network. In some cases these chemical reactions occur between the modified polymer and a cross-linking resin if present in the formulated coating. In other cases, the modified polymer may chemically react with substances to which the film is exposed after solvent evaporation, for example, with oxygen in the air. The chemical reactions that form a cross-linked network may be accelerated by heating (baking). It is the provision of this improved film with improved hardness, flexibility and impact resistance, and the coating binder therefor, to which this invention is particularly directed. Since the coating binder primarily provides the desired film characteristics, the properties of the coating binder are particularly described primarily by tests which measure hardness and impact resistance.

This invention provides for using a polymeric vehicle comprising a modified polymer which after film formation provides a low Tg coating binder which has hardness and impact resistance. We have found that the presence of mesogenic groups covalently bonded to otherwise amorphous polymers provides coating binders that are substantially harder than comparable coating binders not having mesogenic groups and have found that this is obtained without substantially raising Tg of the coating binder. The presence of covalently bound mesogenic groups also imparts other desirable properties to the formulated coating. Thus, according to the invention, it is possible to prepare very hard coating binders and films while retaining the impact resistance, flexibility and adhesion associated with a low Tg. Coating binders with Tg s in a range from -50 degrees C. to +10 C. are often very elastic and impact resistant, but they are generally too soft to be useful in most coatings applications. On the other hand, non-crosslinked coatings with Tg s above 60 degrees C. are usually hard, but they are generally brittle and have very poor impact resistance. It is, therefore, beneficial to impart hardness to coating binders without sacrificing impact resistance. Moreover, the presence of covalently bound mesogenic groups imparts other desirable properties to the formulated coating. For example, this invention can alleviate a common problem of formulated coatings: that substantial amounts of solvent are required to reduce viscosity to a level low enough for application of polymers whose Tg s and molecular weights are high enough to provide good properties. The use of large amounts of solvent results in increased costs and often in unacceptable levels of atmospheric pollution. Especially large amounts of solvent are often required for conventional coatings vehicles whose Tg s and molecular weight are high enough to impart desirable properties without cross-linking. Presence of mesogenic groups can both improve their properties and reduce the amount of solvent required.

The groups that provide the coating binder of the invention are called "mesogenic groups". The mesogenic groups of this invention are chemical structures that contain a rigid sequence of at least two aromatic rings connected in the para position by a covalent bond or by rigid or semi-rigid chemical linkages. Optionally, one of the rigid aromatic rings may be a naphthalenic rings linked at the 1,5- or 2,6- positions. Modified polymers containing mesogenic groups are called "mesomorphous." The coating binders of this invention contain between 5 percent and 50 percent by weight of mesogenic groups to provide the desired characteristics. When a polymer is referred to as "liquid crystalline" herein it is meant to cover such polymer which exhibit mesophases. The presence of mesophases are often associated with the presence of mesogenic groups.

As used in this application, "polymer" means a polymeric or oligomeric component of a coating vehicle such as an acrylic polymer or a polyester polymer; alkyd polymers are considered to be a sub-class of polyester polymers. "Cross-linker resin" means a di- or polyfunctional substance containing functional groups that are capable of forming covalent bonds with hydroxyl, carboxyl and --SH groups that are optionally present on the polymer; aminoplast and polyisocyanate resins are members of this class; melamine resins are a sub-class of aminoplast resins. "Modified polymer" means a polymer having covalently bound mesogenic groups as described herein. "Polymeric vehicle" means all polymeric and resinous components in the formulated coating, i.e. before film formation, including but not limited to modified polymers. "Coating binder" means the polymeric part of the film of the coating after solvent has evaporated and, in cases where cross-linking occurs, after cross-linking. "Formulated coating" means the polymeric vehicle and solvents, pigments, catalysts and additives which may optionally be added to impart desirable application characteristics to the formulated coating and desirable properties such as opacity and color to the film. "Film" is formed by application of the formulated coating to a base or substrate, evaporation of solvent, if present, and cross-linking, if desired. "Air-dried formulated coating" means a formulated coating that produces a satisfactory film without heating or baking. "Baked formulated coating" means a formulated coating that provides optimum film properties upon heating or baking above ambient temperatures.

Acrylic polymer means a polymer or copolymers of ##STR1## wherein y=CH3 or H

x= ##STR2## C6 H5 -- or tolyl R=straight chain or branches alkyls having 1 to 12 carbons, ##STR3## n=2 to 7.

In the case of hydroxy-substituted alkyl acrylates the monomers may include members selected from the group consisting of the following esters of acrylic or methacrylic acid and aliphatic glycols: 2-hydroxy ethyl acrylate; 3-chloro-2-hydroxypropyl acrylate; 2-hydroxy-1-methylethyl acrylate; 2-hydroxypropyl acrylate; 3-hydroxypropyl acrylate; 2,3-dihydroxypropyl acrylate; 2-hydroxybutyl acrylate; 4-hydroxybutyl acrylate; diethylene-glycol acrylate; 5-hydroxypentyl acrylate; 6-hydroxyhexyl acrylate; triethyleneglycol acrylate; 7-hydroxyheptyl acrylate; 2-hydroxy-1-methylethyl methacrylate; 2-hydroxy-propyl methacrylate; 3-hydroxypropyl methacrylate; 2,3-dihydroxypropyl methacrylate; 2-hydroxybutyl methacrylate; 4-hydroxybutyl methacrylate; 3,4-dihydroxybutyl methacrylate; 5-hydroxypentyl methacrylate; 6-hydroxyhexyl methacrylate; 1,3-dimethyl-3-hydroxybutyl methacrylate; 5,6-dihydroxyhexyl methacrylate; and 7-hydroxyheptyl methacrylate.

"Polyester polymers" means the polymerized reaction product of polyacids and polyols; polyacids include diacids such as isophthalic, terephthalic, and fumaric acids and HOOC(CH2)n COOH where n=2 to 14 and "dimer acids", anhydrides of diacids such as maleic, phthalic, hexahydrophthalic, and succinic, and anhydrides of polyacids such as trimellitic acid anhydride. The polyols include linear diols such as HO(CH2)m OH where m=2 to 16, branched aliphatic diols such as neopentyl glycol, 1,3-butylene glycol, propylene glycol and 1,3-dihydroxy-2,2,4-trimethylpentane, cycloaliphatic diols such as hydroquinone, 1,4-dihydroxymethyl-cyclohexane and "hydrogenated bisphenol A", diol ethers such a diethylene glycol, triethylene glycol and dipropylene glycol, and polyols such as glycerol, pentaerythritol, trimethylol propane, trimethylol ethane, dipentaerythritol, sorbitol and styrene-allyl alcohol copolymer.

Esterification catalysts that are used in the process for preparing polyesters are butyl stannoic acid, barium oxide, barium hydroxide, barium naphthenate, calcium oxide, calcium hydroxide, calcium naphthenate, lead oxide, lithium hydroxide, lithium naphthenate, lithium recinoleate, sodium hydroxide, sodium naphthenate, zinc oxide, and lead tallate with butyl stannoic acid being preferred.

In this invention "alkyd polymers" are considered to be a sub-class of "polyester polymers." Alkyds are condensation polymers of the polyacids and polyols as described above that also contain monobasic acids. The monobasic acids may include saturated or unsaturated fatty acids having between 9 and 26 carbon atoms and monobasic aromatic acids.

Fatty, or other carboxylic, acids that are used to prepare alkyd resins include HOOC(CH2)n CH3 where n=7 to 22, oleic acid, linolelic acid, linolenic acid, erucic acid, soybean oil fatty acids, linseed oil fatty acids, safflower oil fatty acids, sunflower oil fatty acids, coconut oil fatty acids, tall oil fatty acids, dehydrated castor oil fatty acids, benzoic acid, toluic acid and t-butylbenzoic acid. Fatty acids may be incorporated into the alkyd polymer as such or as a component of triglycerides.

Although it is especially important that covalently bonded mesogenic groups, according to the invention, impart substantially improved hardness to coating binders without sacrificing impact resistance, the mesogenic groups often improve coatings in at least two other ways. In some cases inclusion of modified polymers according to the invention effectively lowers the viscosity of formulated coatings at a given solids content relative to the viscosity of comparable unmodified polymers in comparable solvents at the same solids level. The reason is that mesogenic groups tend to cause modified polymers to form stable dispersions rather than solutions in many common solvents. Thus, less solvent is required, reducing cost and air pollution. Furthermore, in the case of air dried formulated coatings, the mesogenic groups greatly reduce the time necessary for the polymeric vehicle to harden into a film, referred to as "dry-to-touch" time.

We have found that mesogenic groups covalently bound to polymers can improve polymeric vehicles which provide coating binders having a Tg as low as -50 C. or as high as +60 C. while providing improved hardness, adhesion, impact resistance and flexibility.

IN accord with this invention, mesogenic groups in various forms are used to modify polymers for polymeric vehicles thereby providing films with desired characteristics. The polymeric vehicle comprises a modified polymer in the range of from about 100 to about 35 weight percent based upon the weight of the polymeric vehicle, and unmodified polymers and/or cross-linking resins in the range of from about 0 to about 65 weight percent based upon the polymeric vehicle. The modified polymer is an acrylic polymer or a polyester polymer to which mesogenic groups are covalently bound such that the coating binder contains from about 5 to about 50 weight percent mesogenic groups, based upon the weight of the modified polymer. The mesogenic groups are selected from the group consisting of ##STR4## The mesogenic groups may be reacted with the polymer as seen in the examples.

When one of the reactive constituents of the mesogenic groups are not reacted with the polymer they are terminated by --H, --CN, --COOR, --OOCR and --OR wherein R is H, alkyl (which is straight chained or branched) having 1 to 12 carbon atoms or aryl such as having from 6 to 12 carbon atoms.

The polymeric vehicle provides a coating binder having a Tg not greater than about 60 C. as measured by Differential Scanning Colorimetry (DSC); and, at a thickness of about 1 mil, the coating binder has a pencil hardness of at least about "H" and a reverse impact resistance of at least about 30 inch-pounds. Films which include coating binder generally will range from about 0.05 mil to about 50 mil in thickness, but hardness and impact resistance may vary with the thickness of the film; hence hardness and impact resistance are described at a thickness of about 1 mil.

An important aspect of the invention is when the modified polymer is cross-linked. It may be cross-linked with a cross-linking resin selected from the group consisting of aminoplast resins, polyisocyanate resins, and mixtures thereof; melamine resins are a sub-class of aminoplast resins; optionally, the isocyanate groups of the polyisocyanate resin may be blocked with active hydrogen compounds such as alcohols, phenols, oximes and lactams. In one important embodiment an aminoplast or polyisocyanate resin cross-links a modified polymer which is a polyol or contains pendant or terminal --COOH or --SH groups. In one important embodiment the polyol has the general formula: ##STR5## R" and R""=a aliphatic or cycloaliphatic radical having 12 carbon atoms or less;

R'"=aromatic radical having 10 carbon atoms or less,

cycloaliphatic radical having 12 carbon atoms or less,

or an aliphatic radical having 36 carbon atoms or less;

n=5 to 16; m=2 to 200; and p=1 to 20.

In an alternate embodiment of the invention the modified polymer is a predominantly phenolic oligoester polyol which is cross-linked with a melamine or polyisocyanate resin. In this embodiment the modified polymer (the oligoester polyol) is a reaction product of p-hydroxybenzoic acid (PHBA) and a non-liquid crystal linear oligoester diol which is a reaction product of a heated mixture of

(a) phthalic acid (PA), isophthalic acid, terephthalic acid hexahydrophthalic anhydride;

(b) an aliphatic dicarboxylic acid having a carbon chain length of from 4 to 36, such as adipic acid (AA); and

(c) aliphatic primary or secondary diols, the aliphatic chain having from 2 to 23 carbons, such as neopentyl glycol.

A procedure particularly successful in the production of oligoester polyols for this embodiment of the invention involves production of the non-modified linear oligoester polyol resin by reacting the aliphatic dicarboxylic acid having a carbon chain length of from 4 to 36, the aliphatic primary or secondary diol or polyol having the carbon chain length of from 2 to 23, and one or more of the dicarboxylic acids of (a) above. PHBA is then covalently bonded to this non-modified oligoester polyol using p-toluenesulfonic acid (p-TSA); thereby providing the oligoester polyol or modified polymer which cross-links with the melamine or polyisocyanate. The reasons that this procedure is considered particularly successful and preferred are:

(1) it can be used in large scale production; and (2) the use of p-TSA reduces the yield of by-product phenol and raises the yield of the desired modified polymer. In this embodiment, the weight ratio of PHBA to the non-mesogenic portion of the linear diol is in the range of from about 20/80 to about 60/40.

Another important aspect of the invention arises in cases where the mesogenic groups are bonded to acrylic or polyester polymers by graft polymerization to prepare modified polymers. In this aspect, non-mesogenic acrylic and polyester polymers containing reactive groups such as --COOH and --OH are synthesized. The reactive groups serve as sites for grafting.

Especially preferred are grafting sites consisting of --COOH groups. Acrylic polymers containing such groups can be prepared by including --COOH functional monomers such as (meth)acrylic acid among the monomers used to prepare the acrylic monomer. Polyester resins with --COOH groups can be synthesized by using an excess of polyacid monomers over polyol monomers. Alternatively, --OH functional acrylic and polyester polymers can be provided with --COOH functional groups by reacting them with spacers such as diacids such as adipic, isophthalic or terephthalic acids or with cyclic anhydrides such as phthalic, succinic or maleic anhydrides. It is advantageous in some circumstances to convert --OH groups to --COOH groups because some reactants graft more readily to --COOH groups.

p-Hydroxybenzoic acid, PHBA, is a commonly used component of the mesogenic group in modified polymers. It may be grafted to acrylic or polyester polymers having --OH or --COOH groups; the latter are preferred. A typical grafting process is shown in FIG. 1. In this case the mesogenic groups grafted onto the polymer to form the modified polymer are oligomeric PHBA having the general formula: ##STR6## where n=2 to 8 and preferably the number average degree of polymerization of graft segments is between about 2.0 to about 6.0. See Tables 13 a-h for mesogenic examples. See Tables 13 a-c (Mono-functional Derivates), 13 -g (Di-Functional Derivates), 13 h (Miscellaneous Derivatives) for a description of specific mesogenic groups of the invention.

The modified polymer may comprise the entire polymeric vehicle, it may be blended with other polymers and/or with cross-linking resins, or it may be cross-linked by substances to which the film is exposed after application. In cases where the modified polymer is not cross-linked, it should have a number average molecular weight (Mnn) above about 10,000 for modified acrylic polymers and about 7,000 for modified polyester polymers. Preferred ranges are about 15,000 to 106 for acrylics and about 10,000 to 105 for polyesters. When the modified polymers undergo chemical reactions after application they may have lower Mn.

              TABLE 13 a______________________________________Monofunctional Derivatives______________________________________ ##STR7##                     M1 ##STR8##                     M2 ##STR9##                     M3 ##STR10##                    M4 ##STR11##                    M5 ##STR12##                    M6 ##STR13##                    M7 ##STR14##                    M8 ##STR15##                    M9 ##STR16##                    M10 ##STR17##                    M11 ##STR18##                    M12 ##STR19##                    M13 ##STR20##                    M14 ##STR21##                    M15 ##STR22##                    M16______________________________________

              TABLE 13 b______________________________________Monofunctional Derivatives______________________________________ ##STR23##                    M17 ##STR24##                    M18 ##STR25##                    M19 ##STR26##                    M20 ##STR27##                    M21 ##STR28##                    M22 ##STR29##                    M23______________________________________

              TABLE 13 c______________________________________Monofunctional Derivatives______________________________________ ##STR30##                    M24 ##STR31##                    M25 ##STR32##                    M26 ##STR33##                    M27 ##STR34##                    M28 ##STR35##                    M29 ##STR36##                    M30 ##STR37##                    M31______________________________________

              TABLE 13 d______________________________________Difunctional Derivatives______________________________________ ##STR38##                    D1 ##STR39##                    D2 ##STR40##                    D3 ##STR41##                    D4 ##STR42##                    D5 ##STR43##                    D6 ##STR44##                    D7 ##STR45##                    D8 ##STR46##                    D9______________________________________

                                  TABLE 13 e__________________________________________________________________________Difunctional Derivatives__________________________________________________________________________ ##STR47##                                            D10 ##STR48##                                            D11 ##STR49##                                            D12 ##STR50##                                            D13 ##STR51##                                            D14 ##STR52##                                            D15 ##STR53##                                            D16 ##STR54##                                            D17__________________________________________________________________________

                                  TABLE 13 F__________________________________________________________________________Difunctional Derivatives__________________________________________________________________________ ##STR55##                                 D18 ##STR56##                                 D19 ##STR57##                                 D20 ##STR58##                                 D21 ##STR59##                                 D22 ##STR60##                                 D23 ##STR61##                                 D24 ##STR62##                                 D25__________________________________________________________________________

              TABLE 13 G______________________________________Difunctional Derivatives______________________________________ ##STR63##                    D26 ##STR64##                    D27 ##STR65##                    D28 ##STR66##                    D29 ##STR67##                    D30 ##STR68##                    D31 ##STR69##                    D32______________________________________

              TABLE 13 H______________________________________Miscellaneous Derivatives______________________________________ ##STR70##                    Mi1 ##STR71##                    Mi2 ##STR72##                    Mi3 ##STR73##                    Mi4 ##STR74##                    Mi5 ##STR75##                    Mi6 ##STR76##                    Mi7 ##STR77##                    Mi8 ##STR78##                    Mi9 ##STR79##                    M10 ##STR80##                    Mi11 ##STR81##                    Mi12 ##STR82##                    Mi13 ##STR83##                    Mi14 ##STR84##                    Mi15 ##STR85##                    Mi16 ##STR86##                    Mi17 ##STR87##                    Mi18______________________________________

Preferred ranges of Mn are from about 1,000 to 50,000 for cross-linkable modified acrylic copolymers and about 500 to 20,000 for cross-linkable modified polyester copolymers. Cross-linking is effective for baked and non-baked films.

If the film is to be baked, the modified polymer and cross-linking resin, such as aminoplasts and blocked isocyanates, may be combined as components of the coating formulation. Reaction of the modified polymer and such cross-linking resins is normally very slow until the coating is applied and baked. When highly reactive cross-linking resins such a polyisocyanate resins are used, it is usually desirable to mix the components within a few hours of the time of application. Such coatings require little or no baking. Cross-linking may also be effected by exposure of the film to reactants, such as oxygen, after application; in such cases baking is optional.

The following examples set forth methods of imparting the desired characteristics to polymeric binders and to films. In these examples the properties of coatings containing modified polymers are compared to those containing similar non-modified polymers in order to demonstrate the improvements of the invention: 1) a lowered solution viscosity, 2) a hard, adherent, flexible film having excellent impact resistance and 3) greatly reduced dry-to-touch time in the case of air-dried coatings.


This example concerns model alkyd resins made by a synthetic procedure. The example involves grafting oligomeric esters of ph-hydroxybenzoic acid (PHBA) or of PHBA/terephthalic acid (TPA) to alkyd resins so that liquid crystalline phases are formed. Here the objective is to demonstrate the usefulness of L-C alkyds.


Linoleic acid (Emersol 315, Emery Ind. Inc., equivalent weight 288) was dried with anhydrous Na2 SO4. Pyridine (Aldrich) was distilled and dried with anhydrous Na2 SO4. All other materials (Aldrich) were used as received.

Synthesis of Grafted Model Alkyds G1-G5

Synthesis of grafted PHBA-modified alkyds is outlined in FIG. 1.

(A.) Preparation of unmodified alkyd U1. a low molecular weight model alkyd, U1, with 55% oil length and 22% OH excess was prepared from 25.00 g (0.0868 mol) of linoleic acid, 10.70 g (0.0722 mol) of phthalic anhydride, and 12.61 g (0.094 mol) of trimethylolpropane using the DCC-p-TSA process described by Kangas, S. and Jones, F. N., "Model alkyd resins for higher-solids coatings, I", J. Coat. Technol., 59(744), 89 (1987). DCC is dicyclohexyl carbodiimide. Yield was 85%. The OH value was 56 mg-KOH/g determined by the phthalic anhydride/pyridine method.

(B1.) Modification with succinic anhydride. Alkyd U1 was heated with succinic anhydride (one mol per equiv OH) in pyridine at 80 C. for 12 hr. The solution was concentrated; the residue was dissolved in CH2 Cl2 and washed with 10% aq. HCl. The CH2 Cl2 layer was concentrated and the residue was vacuum dried at 80 C. Yield of resin was above 90%; acid number was 64 mg-KOH/g.

(B2.) Modification with terephthalic acid (TPA). A solution of 10.0 g (0.010 equiv) of alkyd U1, 8.51 g (0.050 mol) of terephthalic acid, TPA, 2.27 g (0.011 mol) of DCC and 0.11 g of p-TSA in 150 ml of pyridine was stirred at 25 C. for 12 hr. The mixture was filtered to remove DCU and excess TPA. The filtrate was concentrated, dissolved in CH2 Cl2, washed with 10% aq. HCl and concentrated as above. Traces of crystalline material were removed by dissolving the residue in 1/1 pentane/ethyl acetate, cooling in a freezer, filtering, reconcentrating and vacuum drying at 80 C. Yield was 9.62 g of resin; acid number was 62 mg-KOH/g.

(C.) Grafting to form alkyds G1-G5. The intermediate step of reacting alkyd U1 with succinic anhydride or with TPA is desirable to improve grafting efficiency. This step converts --OH groups of U1 to --COOH groups; grafting to --COOH groups is more efficient. The succinic anhydride modified alkyd was grafted or covalently bonded with PHBA using the DCC-p-TSA/pyridine process. Weight ratios (PHBA/alkyd) of 0.1, 0.2, 0.3 and 0.5 gave alkyds G1-G4 respectively. For example, the synthesis on alkyd G2 is described;

A solution of 10.0 g (0.0114 equiv) of carboxyl-terminated model alkyd (prepared as described in B1, above), 2.0 g (0.0145 mol) of PHBA, 3.14 g (0.0152 mol) of DCC, and 0.16 g of p-TSA in 120 ml of pyridine was stirred at 25 C. for 12 hrs. The product (10.2 g, 85% yield) was isolated essentially as described immediately above in the TPA reaction.

TPA modified alkyd prepared as described in B2 was covalently bonded by a similar process using a weight ratio (PHBA/alkyd) of 0.5 to give alkyd G5. Modification with TPA has the additional advantage of putting half the structure needed for liquid crystal formation into place.

Synthesis of "Random" Model Alkyds R1-R3

A series of random model alkyds R1, R2 and R3 containing 15%, 22% and 27% by weight in the feed were prepared from linoleic acid, phthalic anhydride, trimethylolpropane, and PHBA in a single step by the DCC-p-TSA process. These weight percents correspond roughly to the weight percents of PHBA actually incorporated in alkyds G2, G3 and G4, respectively. For example, preparation of R3 is described:

A solution of 5.50 g (0.0190 mol) of linoleic acid, 2.54 g (0.017 mol) of phthalic anhydride, 2.91 g (0.022 mol) of trimethylolpropane, 4 g (0.029 mol) of PHBA, 12.24 g (0.060 mol) of DCC, and 0.612 g of p-TSA in 200 ml of anhydrous pyridine were mixed in a 250 ml flask for 12 hrs. at 25 C. Alkyd R3 was isolated essentially as described above in the TPA reaction.

Alkyd Structure Characterization

1 H-NMR spectra were determined at 34 C. using a Varian Associates EM 390 NMR spectrometer with Me4 Si as internal standard. IR spectra were recorded on a Perkin-Elmer 137 spectrophotometer using a 20 weight percent solution in CH2 CL2.

Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) was effected with a du Pont model 990 thermal analyzer at a heating rate of 20 C./min using samples that had been vacuum dried at 80 C. to constant weight. Tg was assigned as the onset of the endothermic inflection. Clearing points (TC1) of L-C phases were assigned as the maxima of the endothermic peaks.

Equivalent weight per carboxyl group was determined by titration of pyridine solution with KOH/CH3 OH to the phenolphthalein end point.

Number average molecular weight (Mn), weight average molecular weight (Mw), and polydispersity index (PDI=Mw /Mn) were measured by gel permeation chromatography (GPC) in tetrahydrofuran using a Waters model 510 pump, A R401 refractive index detector and a model M730 data module; columns were Ultrastyragel 100 A, 500 A, 103 A, and 104 A. Monodisperse polystyrene calibration standards were used.

Optical textures were examined with a Leitz D-6330 polarizing microscope equipped with a Reichert hot stage.

Grafting efficiency (GE %) and average number of PHBA units per COOH were estimated from equivalent weight difference as described in Chen, D. S. and Jones, F. N., "Graft-copolymers of p-hydroxylbenzoic acid, Part I, A general method for grafting mesogenic groups to oligomers", J. Polym. Sci., Polym, Chem, Ed, Vol. 25, pg. 1109-1125 (1987).

Measurement of Viscosity and Tests of Films Properties

Solution viscosity was measured in xylene using an ICI cone and plate viscometer at 25 C. Films were prepared by dissolving or dispersing resins and driers in xylene and casting films on untreated rolled steel panels by a casting bar to give the dry thickness of 0.5 ml.

Dry-to-touch time was measured according to ASTM D1640. Film properties were measured after 7 days of drying at ambient temperature. Reverse impact resistance and pencil hardness were measured according to ASTM D2794 and D3363 respectively; resistance to acetone was measured by the number of double rubs to remove trace of film with paper tissue after the dropping of acetone on the dry film. Extractability was measured by subjecting cured films to 8 hr. in a Soxhlet extractor using tetrahydrofuran.

The equivalent weight per carboxyl, Mn, Mw, PDI, and number average PHBA units per carboxyl of the control alkyd and the PHBA-grafted alkyds are shown in Table 1. As PHBA content increases equivalent weight, Mn, and Mw increase in proportion to the mass of PHBA grafted but no more; PDI remains nearly constant. These results indicate that little or no coupling of molecules occurs during grafting. Data for "random" alkyds R1-R3 are shown in Table 2.

              TABLE 1______________________________________Characterization of ungrafted alkyd U1 andPHBA-grafted G1-G4:     U1     G1      G2      G3    G4______________________________________wt ratio in feed       --       0.1     0.2   0.3   0.5PHBA/oligomerEq. wt. per COOH       8762     916     1014  1065  1080(g/eq.)wt % of PHBA in       --       8.3     14.5  19.4  28.4resinGE %        --       90      89    85    77units of PHBA       --       0.4     2.15  1.58  1.96GRAFTED PERCOOHM.sub.n     1425**   1460    1582  1717  1935M.sub.w     2086**   2287    2411  2689  2910PDI         1.46     1.57    1.53  1.57  1.50T.sub.g (C.)       -29      -24     -20   -15 (C.)       --       --      --    --    190______________________________________ *After grafting with succinic anhydride. **Before grafting with succinic anhydride.

              TABLE 2______________________________________Properties of "random" alkyds:         R.sub.1 R.sub.2 R.sub.3______________________________________wt % of PHBA in feed           15        22      27M.sub.n         1650      1720    1600M.sub.w         2772      2597    2512PDI             1.68      1.51    1.57T.sub.g, C      -23       -18     -12______________________________________

IR spectra of the PHBA grafted alkyds are characterized by two sharp peaks at 1610 and 1510 cm-1. 1 H-NMR spectra show complex peaks in the range of 7.0-8.0 ppm. These spectral features are characteristic of PHBA grafted polymers. IR of random alkyds R1-R3 also showed two sharp peaks at 1610 and 1510 cm-1.

Onset Tg (by DSC) of the unmodified alkyd U1 was -29 C.; PHBA-grafted alkyds G1-G5 had onset Tg s at -24, -20, -15, -10, and +17 C., respectively. DSC traces of the alkyd u1 and grafted alkyds G1-G3 were featureless except for the inflection assigned to Tg and the broad exothermic peaks due to thermal cross-linking. DSCs of alkyds G4 and G5 had sharp endothermic peaks at 190 and 225 C., respectively; these peaks are attributable to the clearing temperature (Tcl) of the L-C phases. The DSC thermogram of alkyd G4 is shown in FIG. 2. DSC thermograms of random alkyds R1-R3 are similar to those of alkyds U1, G1, G2, and G3, no endothermic peaks appeared. Tg s of R1, R2, and R3 were -23, -18, and -12 C., respectively.

Optical textures of the dried films were examined under a polarizing microscope with a hot stage. Films of alkyds U1, G1-G3 and R1-R3 had no visible L-C phases. However, L-C (mesomorphous) phases were clearly visible in films of alkyds G4 and G5. The L-C phase in films of alkyd G4 disappeared when the specimen was heated above 190 C. and reappeared quickly as it was cooled to around 190 C.

Viscosity and Appearance of Solutions and Dispersions

Alkyds U1, G1-G3 and R1-R3 appeared soluble in commercial xylene at all concentrations. In contrast, alkyds G4 and G5 formed stable, opaque dispersions in xylene at concentrations of 5 wt % or higher.

The relationship between viscosity and PHBA content of 70/30 (w/w) mixtures of alkyds G1-G1 and R1-R3 in xylene are shown in FIG. 3. Viscosity increases with increasing PHBA content for alkyds G1-G3, but it drops sharply for alkyd G4. This drop is presumably associated with the tendency of alkyd G4 to form non-aqueous dispersions. On the other hand, "random" alkyd R3, whose overall composition is similar to that of G4, has the highest viscosity in the series. The solids/viscosity relationship of alkyd G4 is shown in FIG. 4.

Dry Time and Film Properties

As shown in Table 3, all PHBA-grafted alkyds dried faster than unmodified alkyd U1, and drying speed increased with PHBA content. Acceleration of drying is by far the greatest for L-C alkyds G4 and G5. The latter dried very rapidly (in 5 minutes). As shown in Table 4, the drying speed of "random" alkyds R1-R3 also increased with the PHBA content, but the effect was much smaller than observed for their grafted counterparts G2-G4.

Coatings made from all alkyds had good adhesion. Films made from alkyds U1, G1 G3 and R1-R3 were glossy and transparent, while film from alkyds G4 and G5 were glossy and translucent.

As shown in Table 3, seven-day old films of PHBA-grafted alkyds G1-G5 had better reverse impact resistance, were harder, and had slightly better acetone resistance than alkyd U1. All these film properties are favored by higher PHBA content. Alkyd G4 had the best balance of properties, while alkyd G5 was the hardest.

              TABLE 3______________________________________Dry-to-touch times and film properties of U1 and graftedalkyds G1-G5:Alkyd    U1      G1      G2    G3    G4    G5______________________________________Dry time*    10D     5D      7H    5.5H  1H    5Mfilmpropertieshardness 5B      3B      2B    B     H     2Hreverse  35      35      40    65    80    45impactstrength(in-lb)crosshatch    100%    100%    100%  100%  100%  100%adhesionresistance to    3       5       5     6     8     8acetone(rubs)film     GL      GL      GL    GL    GL    GLappearance    TP      TP      TP    TP    TL    TL______________________________________ *dryers = 0.05% Conapthenate + 0.15% Znnaphthenate by weight per resin. D = day, H = hour, M = minute. GL = glossy, TP = transparent, TL = translucent.

Hardness and solvent resistance of films made from "random" alkyds R1-R3 improved with increasing PHBA content (Table 4). On the other hand, impact strength decreased with increasing PHBA content.

              TABLE 4______________________________________Dry-to-touch times and film properties of "random alkyds"R1-R3:          R1     R2       R3______________________________________Dry time*        5 H      4.5 H    3.5 HFilm PropertiesHardness         HB       HB       Hreverse impact strength            80       45       20(in-lb)crosshatch adhesion            100%     100%     100%Resistance to acetone            3        4        4(number of rubs)film appearance  GL,      GL,      GL,            TP       TP       TP______________________________________ *dryers = 0.05% Conapthenate + 0.15% Znnaphthenate by weight per resin. R = hour, CL = Clossyl TP = Transparent.

The data of the above example indicates the improvements made in an alkyd coating and resin when mesogenic groups are covalently bonded to the alkyd.


This example reports use of mesogenic groups to modify acrylic polymers. The experimental approach was to prepare several series of --COOH functional acrylic copolymers in which molecular weight, Tg, and functionality were varied and then to graft p-hydroxybenzoic acid (PHBA) to the --COOH groups. The PHBA groups were the mesogenic groups which imparted the desired L-C characteristics.

Two types of L-C acrylic polymers were synthesized. In type A the PHBA was grafted to --COOH groups attached directly to MMA/BA/MAA acrylic copolymer backbones (FIG. 5). In type B an 8-unit flexible spacer was placed between the copolymer backbone and the PHBA (FIG. 6). The behavior of these copolymers as film formers was investigated.


Monomers were distilled before use. Pyridine was distilled and then dried by stirring with anhydrous Na2 SO4. All other reagents (Aldrich) were used as received.

Preparation of COOH-Functional Acrylic Polymers

COOH-functional acrylic polymers were prepared as substrates for grafting by radical copolymerization in toluene at 90-100 C. under monomer starved conditions as described by R. A. Gray, J. Coat, Technol., 57, 83 (1985), using azobisisobutyronitrile (AIBN) as initiator. Substrates for Type A copolymers (FIG. 5) were composed of methyl methacrylate (MMA), butyl acrylate (BA), and acrylic acid (AA) or methacrylic acid (MAA). Substrates for Type B copolymers (FIG. 6) were composed of MMA, BA, and 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA); they were modified to become COOH-functional by treatment with stoichiometrically equivalent amount of succinic anhydride in pyridine at 80 C.

The following is an example for the preparation of a COOH-functional acrylic polymer of Type B:

(a). Polymerization: Toluene (57 g) was placed in a 250-ml, 3-neck flask, heated in an oil bath and stirred mechanically. A solution of 32.68 g (0.255 mol) of BA, 22.03 g (0.22 mol) of MMA, 3.25 g (0.025 mol) of HEMa, and 0.57 g of AIBN was added dropwise during 3 hr. with continuous stirring. Temperature was maintained at 95 to 100 C. during addition and for 2 hr. thereafter. A solution of 0.2 g of AIBN in 10 g of toluene was added during 10 min, and the temperature was maintained for 1 hr. The solution was concentrated on a rotary evaporator and was vacuum dried at 80 C. The residue (polymer B6) had 5 mol % OH functionality (calcd), a Tg of 10 C. (calcd) and Mn of 15,400 (measured by GPC). Acrylic copolymers of type A were prepared similarly.

b). Modification with succinic anhydride: A solution of 11.45 g (0.005 eq OH) of the above polymer and 0.50 g (0.005 mol) of succinic anhydride in 50 g of pyridine was stirred and heated at 80 C. for 12 hr. The solution was concentrated; the residue was dissolved in CH2 Cl2 and washed with 10% aq. HCl. The CH2 Cl2 layer was concentrated and the residue was vacuum dried at 80 C. Yield was 92%. Acid number was 24.

Grafting with PHBA

Both types of COOH-functional acrylic copolymers were grafted with PHBA in pyridine at 100 C. for 36 hr by the DCC-p-TSA process. Ratios of mol of PHBA to equiv of --COOH ("equivalent ratios") were 3.5, 5.5, and 7.0 in order to vary the length of the grafted PHBA segments. The PHBA-grafted products of Types A and B were designated GA and GB respectively. The procedure is exemplified by the grafting of succinic anhydride-modified polymer B6 at equivalent ratio of 7.0:

A solution of 11.80 g (0.005 eq COOH) of polymer B6, 4.84 g (0.035 mol) of PHBA, 7.94 g (0.0385 mol) of dicyclohexycarbodiimide (DCC), and 0.40 g of p-toluenesulfonic acid (p-TSA) in 150 g of pyridine was stirred at 100 C. for 36 hr. The mixture was filtered to remove urea of DCC (DCU) and PHBA oligomers. The filtrate was concentrated, dissolved in CH2 Cl2, washed with 10% aq. HCl, and concentrated. Traces of crystalline contaminates were removed by dissolving the residue in 1:1 pentane-ethyl acetate, cooling in a freezer, filtering, reconcentrating, and vacuum drying at 80 C. Yield was 85%. The combined crystalline by-products weighed 9.40 g after vacuum drying at 80 C. to constant weight. Grafting efficiency (GE %) was estimated to be 70% indicating an average length of PHBA grafts (#PHBA/COOH) of 4.9 PHBA units.

Grafting was effected to give L-C copolymers of Types GA and GB. These types differ in that the mesogenic PHBA-grafts are attached directly to the polymer backbone of Type GA copolymers while Type GB copolymers have eight-atom flexible spacers between the polymer backbone and the mesogenic grafts. Individual copolymers were numbered as shown in Tables 5 to 11. Grafting efficiency (GE%) was determined gravimetrically. It ranged from about 85% to about 70%. As expected, GE % decreased as the COOH equivalent ratio of PHBA/acrylic increased.

Average #PHBA/COOH ratios were calculated from GE %. In order to achieve #PHBA/COOH ratios of 30.2, 40.2, and 50.3 it proved necessary to feed PHBA monomer in the ratio of 3.5, 5.5 and 7.0 moles, respectively, to the grafting reaction.

Structure Characterization

1 H-NMR spectra, IR spectra, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), optical textures under polarizing microscope, Mn, Mw, polydispersity index, and average #PHBA/COOH ratio were determined as described in Chen and Jones. The term "#PHBA/COOH ratio" refers to the number average degree of polymerization of PHBA graft segments actually incorporated in the graft copolymer.

X-ray spectra were recorded with a Philip wide angle diffractometer at 25 C. Samples for X-ray diffraction studies were dissolved or dispersed in acetone, cast on glass slides, and vacuum dried at 80 C. for 12 hr.

Measurement of Viscosity

Viscosity was measured using an ICI cone and plate viscometer (shear rate 104 s-1) at 25 C. Samples were dissolved or thoroughly dispersed in methylisobutylketone (MIBK) before measuring.

Observation of Solution Appearance

Samples were dissolved or dispersed thoroughly in MIBK and then put in test tubes. Appearance was observed when the test tubes were immersed in an oil bath and equilibrated at different temperatures. Optical textures of some L-C polymer dispersions were examined under polarizing microscope at 25 C.

Tests of Film Properties

Samples were dissolved or dispersed in MIBK and cast on untreated cold rolled steel panels by a casting bar to give the dry film thickness of 1.0 ml. Reverse impact strength and pencil hardness were measured according to ASTM D2794 and D3363, respectively.

Characterization of Polymer Structures

The IR spectra of the PHBA grafted acrylics have sharp peaks at 1610 cm-1 and 1510 cm-1 assignable to the para aromatic C-H stretching. These two peaks are characteristic of oligo-PHBA grafted polymers. They are absent in the ungrafted acrylics.

1 H-NMR spectra of the PHBA-grafted acrylics show multiple peaks in the range of 7.0-7.3 ppm and 8.0-8.3 ppm, assignable to the aromatic protons ortho to the OH group and to the COOH group, respectively. They are absent in the ungrafted acrylics.

Characterization of Microstructure

Polarizing microscopy, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and wide angle X-ray diffraction (WAXS) were used to further characterize the microstructures of the graft copolymers in the bulk phase. Results (Tables 5 and 6) were consistent with assignment of L-C microstructure to all polymers except GA21a-c.

              TABLE 5______________________________________Compositions of type A acrylic substrates and type APHBA-grafted acrylic copolymers______________________________________(a). Type A acrylic substrates: (a1). The --MMA--BA--AA-- series   mol fraction   T.sub.g#       (MMA/BA/AA)    (C., calcd.)                             M.sub.n______________________________________A11     0.274/0.676/0.05                  -10        15,700A12     0.355/0.595/0.05                  0          28,400A13     0.274/0.676/0.05                  -10         4,870A14     0.274/0.676/0.05                  -10         9,945A15     0.274/0.676/0.05                  -10        14,865A16     0.274/0.676/0.05                  -10        28,500A17     0.355/0.595/0.05                  0           4,750A18     0.332/0.593/0.75                  0           4,810A19     0.309/0.591/0.10                  0           5,100A20     0.355/0.595/0.05                  0          15,630______________________________________(a1). The --MMA--BA--MMA-- series   mol fraction   T.sub.g#       (MMA/BA/AA)    (C., calcd.)                             M.sub.n______________________________________A21     0.351/0.549/0.10                  10         4,910A22     0.383/0.542/0.075                  10         5,130A23     0.415/0.535/0.05                  10         5,490______________________________________(b). Type GA PHBA-grafted acrylic copolymers: (b1). series from --MMA--BA--AA--                T.sub.g            #PHBA/       PHBA content                          (C.,                                  LC#     COOH         (wt %)      measured)                                  phase*______________________________________GA11  4.9          20.0        -2   173  smecticGA12  5.1          21.0        -4   175  smecticGA13  5.2          21.0        -2   174  smecticGA14  5.0          20.3        -3   174  smecticGA15  4.9          20.0        -2   173  smecticGA16  5.1          20.7        -4   174  smecticGA17  4.9          20.3        7    173  smecticGA18  5.2          29.0        9    174  smecticGA19  4.8          33.6        14   181  smecticGA20  4.8          19.8        4    175  smectic______________________________________(b2). Series from --MMA--BA--MAA--            T.sub.g                 T.sub.m               #PHBA/   PHBA content                      (C.,                                  LC#     COOH     (wt %)      measured)   phase*______________________________________GA21a 3.2      25.2        16   147  --    crystalGA21b 4.1      30.1        22   186  --    crystalGA21c 4.9      34.0        25   210  --    crystalGA22a 3.0      20.3        15   --   165   smecticGA22b 3.8      23.2        13   --   175   smecticGA22c 4.8      27.6        20   --   184   smecticGA23a 3.1      14.0        14   --   162   smecticGA23b 4.0      17.4        15   --   173   smecticGA23c 5.1      21.1        17   --   178   smectic______________________________________ *according to optical texture.

              TABLE 6______________________________________Compositions of type B acrylic substrates and type GBPHBA-grafted acrylic copolymers--______________________________________ (a). Type B acrylic substrates   mol fraction   T.sub.g#       (MMA/BA/HEMA)  (C., calcd.)                             M.sub.n______________________________________B1      0.282/0.668/0.05                  -10        14,500B2      0.364/0.586/0.05                  0          15,130B3      0.364/0.586/0.05                  0           5,050B4      0.364/0.586/0.05                  0          10,800B5      0.364/0.586/0.05                  0          28,200B6      0.044/0.51/0.05                  10         15,420______________________________________(b). Type GB PHBA-grafted acrylic substrates                T.sub.g            #PHBA/       PHBA content                          (C.,                                  LC#     COOH         (wt %)      measured)                                  phase*______________________________________GB1   5.0          19.3        -5   171  smecticGB2a  4.8          19.0        4    174  smecticGB2b  3.2          13.5        3    159  smecticGB2c  4.1          16.7        3    164  smecticGB3   5.1          19.9        4    175  smecticGB4   4.9          19.3        5    174  smecticGB5   5.2          20.2        5    174  smecticGB6   4.9          19.6        14   177  smectic______________________________________ *according to optical texture.

FIG. 7 shoes shear viscosities (shear rate 104 s-1) of MIBk solutions of three ungrafted acrylic copolymers and of a dispersion of an L-C graft copolymer derived from one of them as a function of concentration. The ungrafted copolymers (B1, B2, and B6) differ only in Tg (-10, 0, +10 C., respectively); all three have Mn of about 15,000 and functionality of 5 mol %. L-C copolymer GB1 was prepared by grafting B1 with an average #PHBA/COOH ratio of 5.0. As expected, solution viscosities of ungrafted copolymers increase moderately as Tg increases. However, viscosity of GB1, an anistropic dispersion throughout most of the concentration range studied, was substantially lower than that of the copolymer from which it was made. The viscosity range 0.1 to 0.2 Pa.s (a viscosity suitable for spray application of coatings) was attained at about 40 to 45 wt % with the ungrafted polymers and at about 45 to 50 wt. % with L-C copolymer GB1.

The effect of #PHBA/COOH ratio on viscosity was studied; results are shown in FIG. 8. B2 is an ungrafted acrylic copolymer with Mn of about 15,000, Tg of 0 C., and functionality of 5 mol %. GB2a and GB2b are L-C graft copolymers prepared from B2 with actual #PHBA/COOH ratios of 4.8 and 3.2, respectively. Again viscosities of anisotropic dispersions of the grafted copolymers were significantly lower than solutions of the copolymers from which they were made. It appears that increasing #PHBA/COOH ratio slightly reduces viscosity of the dispersions. Viscosity of dispersions of a third L-C copolymer in this series, GB2c (#PHBA/COOH ratio=4.1) was intermediate between GB2a and GB2b.

The behavior of L-C copolymer/MIBK mixtures depended on temperature, concentration and #PHBA/COOH ratio. The phase diagrams in FIG. 9 are typical. Behavior of two copolymers, GB2b (#PHBA/COOH=3.2, dashed line) and GB2a (#PHBA/COOH=4.8, solid line) is shown. These graft copolymers are from the same acrylic copolymer substrate; they differ only in #PHBA/COOH ratio. Both copolymers formed transparent isotropic "solutions" (A) at low concentrations and/or at elevated temperatures. At lower temperatures both copolymers formed biphasic states (B) and anisotropic states (C) at high concentrations. This sort of behavior is typical of lyotropic L-C polymers. Increasing #PHBA/COOH ratio from 3 to 5 decreases solubility, shifting the phase diagram by about 10 wt % as shown.

#PHBA/COOH ratio strongly affected the concentrations at phase boundaries. As #PHBA/COOH ratio increases the phase boundaries shift to lower concentrations. Temperature also affect the phase boundaries. For example, as shown in FIG. 9, both the biphasic state and the anisotropic state become isotropic (i.e., they "clear") when heated. The clearing temperatures increased as the #PHBA/COOH ratios increased.

Properties of cast films of selected L-C acrylic copolymers were compared with those of a series of ungrafted, amorphous acrylic copolymers (A1-A10). Three empirical indicators of film properties were used: crosshatch adhesion, reverse impact resistance and pencil hardness. Adhesion was good in every case; other results are shown in Table 7.

Film properties of the amorphous copolymers were poor. When calculated Tg was below 25 C., the films were very soft, and when it was higher they were very brittle. When Mn was below 30,000 impact resistance was negligible regardless of Tg. Copolymer A10 (Mn =39,500 and Tg =+10 C.) had the best properties in the series, although films are too soft for practical use.

Film properties of representative L-C copolymers were substantially better than those of amorphous counterparts (Table 7). Reverse impact resistance of 65 to 80 in-1b is attainable with backbone Mn as low as 15,000, and pencil hardness of H to 3H is attainable with Tg as low as -10 C.

                                  TABLE 7__________________________________________________________________________Comparisons of film properties between amorphous and LCacrylic copolymers:M.sub.n(backbone)           Rev. Imp.#    (calcd)       T.sub.g (C.)           #PHBA/COOH                     (in-lb)                            Hardness__________________________________________________________________________Amorphous acrylic copolymersA1    5,600 30  0         10     H-2HA2    5,200 15  0         10     2BA3   11,000 30  0         10     H-2HA4   15,600 30  0         10     H-2HA5   14,800 15  0         10     BA6   15,100  0  0         (sticky)A7   28,300 20  0         10     2HA8   29,100 10  0         25     BA9   28,900  0  0         (slight sticky)A10  39,500 10  0         40     HBLC acrylic copolymersGB1  14,500 -10   5.2     80     HGB2a 15,130  0    5.0     65     2HGA11 15,700 -10   4.8     70     HGA12 28,450 -10   5.1     80     3H__________________________________________________________________________ Note: functionality of all the above polymers is 5% by mol.

It is evident from the above results that films made from L-C acrylic copolymers can have substantially better hardness and impact resistance than those made from comparable amorphous copolymers.

Preliminary Guidelines for LC Copolymer Design-- Having established that liquid crystallinity can dramatically improve film properties, a second objective was addressed to develop preliminary guidelines for copolymer design to optimize film properties of non-cross-linked acrylic coatings. Variables studied included Mn, Tg, functionality (number of graft segments), flexible spacer effects, and #PHBA/COOH ratio (length of graft segments). Results are shown in Tables 8 through 12.

Effects of Mn of ungrafted and grafted acrylic copolymer backbones are shown in Table 8. Tg, Tcl, and adhesion were essentially independent of Mn regardless of the presence or absence of flexible spacer. However, reverse impact resistance and hardness increased greatly with Mn. L-C copolymers with backbone Mn of 15,000 and 28,000 had excellent reverse impact resistance (>70 in-lb) and good hardness (H-2H) when Tg, functionality and #PHBA/COOH ratio were optimal.

                                  TABLE 8__________________________________________________________________________Effects of acrylic backbone Mn on the film properties ofLC copolymers:Backbone      #PHBA/           T.sub.g (C.)                         Rev. Imp.   Crosshatch#    Mn    COOH (measured)                   (in-lb)                         Hardness                               adhesion__________________________________________________________________________(a). Copolymers with flexible spacer:GB3   5,050      5.1  4    175                   35    2B    100%B3    5,050      0    0    -- 10    (sticky)                               100%GB4  10,800      4.9  5    174                   60    B     100%B4   10,800      0    1    -- 10    (sticky)GB2a 15,130      4.8  4    174                   70    2H    100%B2   15,130      0    0    -- 10    (sticky)                               100%GB5  28,200      5.2  5    174                   80    2H    100%B5   28,200      0    2    -- 20    2B    100%__________________________________________________________________________(b). Copolymers without flexible spacer:GA13  4,870      5.2  -2   175      (too sticky)                               100%A13   4,870      0    -9   --       (too sticky)                               100%GA14  9,945      5.0  -3   174                   45    HB-H  100%A14   9,945      0    -10  -- 10    (sticky)GA15.sup.-14,865      4.9  -2   173                   70    H     100%A15  14,865      0    -9   -- 10    (sticky)                               100%GA16 28,500      5.1  -4   174                   80    H     100%A16  28,500      0    -8   -- 30    (sticky)                               100%__________________________________________________________________________ Note: The functionality of all the acrylic polymers is 5% by mol.

Tg effects for graft copolymers having a functionality of 5 mol % are shown in Table 9. It can be seen that grafting oligo-PHBA has only a slight effect on Tg of the amorphous backbone of the copolymer, increasing it by about 4 to 5 C. Backbone Tg has only a modest effect on clearing temperatures (Tcl) of the mesophases; Tcl increased by 6 C. backbone Tg s increased from -10 to +10 C. However, backbone Tg substantially affected the empirical film properties. Reverse impact resistance ranged from poor (<10 in-lb) when backbone Tg was 10 C. to excellent (>80 in-lb) when Tg was -10 C. Hardness increased with backbone Tg.

                                  TABLE 9__________________________________________________________________________Effects of the acrylic backbone Tg on the film propertiesof the LC acrylics:T.sub.g (C.)     After          Rev.     Cross-    Backbone     Grafting           #PHBA/                          Imp.                        Hard-                             hatch#   (calcd)     (Measured)           COOH (C.)                    (in-lb)                        ness Adhesion__________________________________________________________________________GB1 -10   -5    5.2  171 80  H-2H 100%GB2a0     4    5.0  173 65  2H   100%GB6 10    14    4.9  177 10  2H-3R                             100%__________________________________________________________________________

In Table 10, L-C copolymers having different functionalities are compared. While the reported data were obtained for L-C copolymers with backbone Mns of about 5,000, similar trends were observed for higher Mn s. It can be seen that increasing functionality increased Tg and Tcl. Increasing functionality increased hardness but had an adverse effect on reverse impact resistance. In general, films with functionality above 7.5 mol % had poor reverse impact resistance.

                                  TABLE 10__________________________________________________________________________Effects of functionality on the film properties of the LCacrylic copolymers:         wt %Functio-      PHBA T.sub.g                     Rev.    Cross-nality   #PHBA/         in   (C.)                             Imp.                         Hard-                             hatch#   (mol %)    COOH polymer              (measured)                     (in-lb)                         ness                             Adhesion__________________________________________________________________________GA17    5    4.9  19.9 7   173                     35  3B  100%GA18    7.5  5.2  25.6 9   174                     20  HB  100%GA19    10   4.8  32.1 14  181                     10  H-2H                             100%__________________________________________________________________________ Notes: Mn of acrylic backbones is 4,800  300 and calcd Tg is C.

The effects of the presence of flexible spacer between the acrylic backbone and the oligo-PHBA segments are exemplified in Table 11. The flexible spacer reduces the effect of grafting on Tg. Impact resistance improved when flexible spacer was present. However, the effect of flexible spacer on reverse impact resistance appeared less substantial when the backbone Tg was decreased to about -10 C. Films with flexible spacer were slightly softer than those without one.

                                  TABLE 11__________________________________________________________________________Effects of flexible spacer on the film properties of the LCacrylic copolymers:T.sub.g (C.)     After    Backbone     Grafting     Rev. Imp.#   (calcd)     (measured)           (C.)              #PHBA/COOH                       (in-lb)                             Hardness__________________________________________________________________________GB2a 0    4    173              4.8      70    2HGA20 0    7    175              4.9      10    2H-3HGB1.sup.-    -10   -5    171              5.0      80    HGA11    -10   -2    173              4.9      70    H-2H__________________________________________________________________________

Effects of #PHBA/COOH ratio are exemplified in Table 12. As this ratio increased, Tg (after grafting) increased slightly, Tcl of L-C phase increased significantly, reverse impact resistance increased greatly, and hardness increased slightly.

                                  TABLE 12__________________________________________________________________________Effects of average #PHBA/COOH on the film properties of LCacrylics:                       Cross-    #PHBA/     T.sub.g            Rev. Imp.                  Hard-                       hatch                            Appear-#   COOH  (C.)            (in-lb)                  ness adhesion                            ance__________________________________________________________________________GB2b    3.2   3  159 30    B-HB 100% TLGB2c    4.1   3  164 45    H    100% OPGB2a    4.6   4  174 70    2H   100% OP__________________________________________________________________________ Notes--1. TL = translucent; OP = opaques 2. Acrylic backbone: M.sub.n = 15130, calcd T.sub.g = 0 C. and functionality = 5% by mol.

Appearance of films were also greatly influenced by the PHBA/COOH ratio. At functionality of 5 mol %, films were translucent when this ratio was about 3, but they were opaque when it was 4 or above.

To summarize the observations in this example, it appears that the following guidelines may be useful in designing L-C acrylic copolymers for coatings binders:

(1) Tg of the amorphous part of the copolymer may be low; the optimum for a given end use may be in the range of -20 to 0 C. Amorphous copolymers of such low Tg are normally far too soft to be usable as coatings. Acrylic lacquers are usually formulated with Tg near or slightly above the highest service temperature. Apparently the presence of L-C domains can harden low Tg films, yet the elasticity associated with low Tg is at least partly retained.

(2) The best combination of hardness and elasticity is attained when functionality is low but PHBA/COOH ratio is high.

(3) Flexible spacer improves impact resistance when backbone Tg is 0 C. or higher but has relatively little effect when Tg is -10 C. Introduction of flexible spacer by the method used in this study has the disadvantage of placing relatively unhindered ester groups between the acrylic backbone and the mesogenic group; these ester groups are relatively vulnerable to hydrolysis in water and weather. Other potential routes for introducing flexible spacers are costly. Thus for practical purposes it may be preferable to use low Tg backbones and dispense with flexible spacer.


In this example it will be demonstrated that the L-C acrylic copolymers of Example 2 can be cross-linked with a melamine resin to provide hard, tough enamels.

Amorphous acrylic copolymers composed of MMA, BA, and acrylic acid having calculated Tg of -30, -10, and +10 C. and Mn of 4,700200 and functionality of 5 mol percent acrylic acid were synthesized as described in Example 2. Each was grafted with PHBA, as described, to provide L-C graft copolymers having PHBA--COOH ratios of 4 0.2. Liquid crystallinity was confirmed by polarizing miscroscopy.

Each of the above copolymers was dissolved or dispersed in a methyl isobutyl ketone solution containing HMMM crosslinking resin and p-toluene sulfonic acid (p-TSA) catalyst. The weight ratio was 70.6/28.6./0.7 L-C copolymer/HMMM/p-TSA. The mixture was exposed to ultrasonic energy to promote mixing. It was cast on untreated, cold-rolled steel panels and baked in a forced air oven for 30 minutes at 150 C. to give a cured film.

Knoop hardness and reverse impact resistance of the 6 enamels were tested as described in Example 2. Results are shown in Table 13.

              TABLE 23______________________________________Copolymer T.sub.g          Reverse Impactand Type      Knoop Hardness                      Resistance______________________________________-30, Amorphous         15           80-10, Amorphous         17           60+10; Amorphous         19           40-30, L-C      27           80-10, L-C      34           80+10, L-C      45            5______________________________________

Thus, it is evident that the presence of mesogenic groups improved both hardness and impact resistance for enamels made from copolymers having Tg s of -30 and -10. When Tg is +10, the impact resistance of the L-C film is inferior but the finish is extraordinarily hard. For comparison, the hardness of current auto topcoat enamels is about about 12 Kn.

In other experiments it was determined that the optimum Mn for HMMM crosslinked L-C copolymers for high-solids enamels is about 5,000. As shown in Example 2, higher molecular weights are desirable for uncrosslinked enamels.


L-C telechelic oligoester diols are prepared and cross-linked with a resin, preferably a melamine resin, to provide the coatings of this example. After baking, the coatings retained their L-C character which provided the improved characteristics to the coatings. The properties of the coatings were tested on cold-rolled steel panels.

The ratio of L-C telechelic oligoester diols to resin should be in the range of 95:5 to 50:50, and is preferably about 70:30. The L-C oligoester diols were prepared by reacting 4,4'-terephthaloyldioxydibenzoyl (TOBC) with molar equivalents of aliphatic diols. The general formula is as follows: ##STR88## --O (CH2)5 COO!p R"" OOC(CH2)5 !p --O, or O R"OOCR'"COO!p R"O;

R" and R""=a aliphatic or cycloaliphatic radical having 12 carbon atoms or less;

R'"=aromatic radical having 10 carbon atoms or less,

cycloaliphatic radical having 12 carbon atoms or less,

or an aliphatic radical having 36 carbon atoms or less;

n=5 to 16; m=2 to 200; and p=1 to 20.

The value of n, sometimes referred to as spacer length, should preferably be in the range of 5 to 12. When n=5 or less, there is poor miscibility in forming enamels and at higher n values mixing becomes increasingly difficult.

Coatings were prepared by mixing the L-C oligoester diols or polyols after solubilization with melamine or polyisocyante resin in the presence of an accelerator. The coatings were cast on panels and baked at cross-linking temperatures for testing. L-C oligoester polyols may be prepared by replacing part of the aliphatic diol with a triol or tetrol.


Proton NMR spectra were recorded at 34 C. on a Varian Associates EM-390 90 MHz NMR spectrometer, using Me4 Si as internal standard. IR spectra were recorded at 25 C. on a Mattson Cygnus FT-IR using films cast on NaCl plates with polystyrene as standard. A DuPont model 990 thermal analyzer was used for differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) at heating rates of 10/min. After the crystalline-mesophase transition temperature (Tm) was reached, the temperature was held for 1 min. before the scan was resumed. Capillary melting points were used to confirm the thermal data. Mn and Mw were determined by gel-permeation chromatography (GPC) with a Waters model 520 pump equipped with a model R401 refractive index detector, a model M730 data analyzer, and Ultrastragel 100 A, 500 A, 1000 A, and 10000 A columns. Mass analysis was performed. A Leitz Labolux microscope equipped with a polarizing filter was used for optical micrographs at 500 magnification; diols were observed immediately after heating to Tm, enamels were observed at room temperature.

Seven samples of the L-C oligoester diols were prepared and designated 1a to 1g, inclusive and, for comparison, seven samples of non L-C oligoester diols were prepared and designated 2a to 2g, inclusive, having corresponding n values and made into amorphous coatings. These corresponding n values are indicated, as follows: ##STR89##

In the preparation of the products, reagent materials wee used and the steel panels which were coated were commercially available cold-rolled steel panels sold under the trademark Bonderite 1000 and having a size of 3 inches by 9 inches by 24 GA.

Preparation of 1a-g

TOBC was prepared from terephthaloyl chloride and p-hydroxybenzoic acid (PHBA) as described by Bilibin et al at Polymer Science USSR (1984) 26, 2882. TOBC (0.005 mol), diol (0.025 mol), and diphenyl oxide (10 mL) were placed in a 100 mL single-necked round-bottomed flask equipped with a magnetic stirring bar, a distillation adapter, and a septum. The flask was flushed with argon for 15 min., and was stirred and heated in an oil bath at 190-200 C. under slow argon flow. The reaction mixture became homogeneous after 5 minutes and the evolution of HCl was observed. The reaction was continued until the evolution of HCl was no longer detectable by moistened litmus paper (4-5 hr.). The hot reaction mixture was poured cautiously into 100 mL of toluene and cooled. The oily residue that separated was dissolved in CH2 Cl2, washed 3 times with water, and dried over anhydrous MgSO4. The solution was filtered and concentrated using a rotary evaporator. The residue was precipitated from methanol. Yields were 87-92% based on TOBC 1 H NMR for 1c in CDCl3 ; 1.4 (broad), 3.6 (triplet), 4.2 (multiplet), 6.8 (doublet), 8.1 ppm (multiplet). FT-IR for 1c: 3420, 2960, 2938, 1720, 1606, 1512 cm-1. L-C diols 1a-g had similar spectra.

For comparison to the L-C oligoester diols of this example, non-L-C oligoester diols were prepared from diols in which R=(CH2)4 and made into amorphous coatings.

Preparation of 2a-g

The diacid chloride precursor was prepared by substituting adipoyl chloride for terephthaloyl chloride in Bilibin's procedure. Reaction of this precursor with diols was carried out as described for 1a-g except that the products were not poured into toluene. Diols 2a-g were resinous solids which solidified on standing.

Enamel formation

Oligoester diols 1b-g and 2a-g, HMMM (hexakis (methyloxy-methyl) melamine resin), methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK), as a solvent and p-toluenesulfonic acid (p-TSA) as a catalyst were thoroughly mixed in a 70/30/30/0.3 wt. ratio. The solution was cast on cold rolled steel panels and baked at 150 C. for 30 minutes. Less soluble L-C diols 1e-g were melted, dispersed in solvent, mixed with HMMM and immediately cast as films.

Oligoester Diols. The physical properties of 1a-g obtained by GPC, DSC and polarizing optical microscopy are summarized in Table 14.

              TABLE 14______________________________________Physical Properties of 1a-gdiol n      M.sub.Th .sup.a              Mn   M.sub.w                         PDI  T.sub.m                                    T.sub.i                                         texture______________________________________1a   4      550    480  720   1.5  110   204  --1b   5      578    530  740   1.4  58    207  smectic1c   6      606    570  810   1.4  75    349  smectic1d   7      634    610  850   1.4  47    300  smectic1e   8      662    650  910   1.4  92    302  smectic1f   10     718    680  950   1.4  80    231  smectic1g   12     774    720  1130  1.4  90    220  smectic______________________________________ .sup.a theoretical molecular weight for x = 0

1 H NMR and 1R spectra were consistent with structures 1a-g and 2a-g assuming that partial chain extension occurred as indicated by GPC. Low Mn values and slightly high H analyses suggest that small amounts of unreacted HO(CH2)n OH were present in the products.

The L-C nature of 1a-g was demonstrated by DSC (FIG. 10) in which two first order transitions were observed; the crystalline-mesophase transition temperature (Tm), and the mesophase-isotropic transition temperature (Ti). The thermal data revealed an odd-even spacer effect for Tm. Smectic-nematic transitions were not evident in the DSC.

In contrast, diols 2a-g were apparently not L-C materials. Only one first order transition was observed by DSC.

The mesophases of 1a-g were observed in polarized optical micrographs taken immediately after melting the sample. Textures were identified by comparing appearance with published micrographs. See: Noel, Polymeric Liquid Crystals, Plenum Press, New York, (1984). A nematic texture is observed for 1f, while more highly ordered smectic textures are observed for 1b-e and 1g. Crystals were observed by microscopy for diols 2a-g.

Cross-linked Enamels. Diols 1b-g and 2a-g were cross-linked with HMMM at 150 C., which falls within the temperature range at which 1b-g are liquid crystalline. Enamel formation of 1a was nearly impossible because of its poor miscibility. The properties of the cross-linked enamels are summarized in Table 15.

                                  TABLE 15__________________________________________________________________________Properties of Enamels Prepared from 1b-g and 2a-g. Diol:HMMM:p-TSA 70:30:0.3 by wt., cure cycle 150/30 min.    mesogenic samples       controls    1b  1c  1d  1e  1f  1g  2a-g__________________________________________________________________________spacer length (n)     5   6   7   8  10  12   4-12reverse impact    80  50  80  50  80  55   8-15(in-lb)direct impact    80  50  80  50  50  80  10-15(in-lb)pencil hardness    6H  6H  5H  6H  5H-6H                        6H  H-2H(ASTM-D 3363)adhesion.sup.a    5B  5B  5B  5B  5B  5B  5B(ASTM-D 3363)acetone rubs    200 200 200 200 200 200 200(double rubs)flexibility    100%        100%            100%                100%                    100%                        100%                            100%(ASTM-D 522)dry film thick..sup.b      0.5          0.5              0.5                  0.5                      0.5                          0.5                            0.5T.sup.c  17  35  23  16  15  22  17-28appearance    transparent, glossy__________________________________________________________________________ .sup.a 5B is 100% crosshatch adhesion; .sup.b units are 1/1000 in.; .sup.c onset of transition, determined by DSC.

As shown in Table 15, all enamels had excellent adhesion, solvent resistance, and flexibility. The L-C enamels were far superior to control enamels in both hardness (5H-6H vs. H-2H) and impact resistance (50 to 80 in-lb vs. 8 to 15 in-lb). The odd spacers 1b and 1d afforded the best properties. Spacer variations did not measurably affect enamel properties in the control oligoesters.

DSC thermograms of the cross-linked enamels revealed onset of glass transitions (Tg) ranging from Tg 15 to 35 for L-C enamels 1b-g and amorphous enamels 2a-g. An odd-even pattern was not observed in either type.

Polarized optical micrographs revealed L-C regions in the cross-linked enamels of 1b-g. Enamels of 2a-g appeared amorphous. IR spectra of the baked L-C and amorphous enamels had peaks attributable to unreacted OH groups at 3420 cm-1 (OH stretch) and at 1271 cm-1 (OH bend).

In summary, the method used to make oligoester diols 1a-g was adapted from Bilibin's method for making chain L-C high polymers by using a five-fold excess of HO(CH2)n OH. Spectral, chromatographic and mass analytical evidence all indicated that the expected products were obtained from the adapted process.

GPC and analytical data suggested that the structures with x=1 and x=2 predominate; smaller amounts of structures with x>1 and of HO(CH2)n OH are probably present in 1a-g and 2a-g.

The thermal behavior of 1a-g observed by DSC (FIG. 10) confirms the presence of mesophases and is typical of low molecular weight liquid crystals. The odd-even effect is of interest because of its direct affect on the physical properties of the L-C diols. The lower Tm for 1b and 1d is consistent with the higher entropy of activation for crystallization of odd-n spacers, demonstrated in several main chain L-C polymers, Ober et al, Advances in Polymer Science, Liquid Crystal Polymers I, Springer-Verlag (1984), Vol. 59. The apparent absence of nematic-smetic transitions in the DSC suggests the observed morphology exists for the entire mesophase.

The nematic texture of oligomeric L-C diol 1F is the same as reported for the homologous main chain L-C high polymer, Lenz, Journal Polymer Science, Polymer Symposium (1985) 72, 1-8.

OLigomeric diols 1b-d were soluble in MIBK and were miscible with the HMMM cross-linker; films were readily cast. Higher melting diols 1e-g were less miscible, but the consistently good film properties indicate that adequate mixing was achieved. Mixing of diol 1a with HMMM was inadequate to produce uniform films.

Enamels made from odd-n L-C diols 1b and 1d had better impact resistance than those made from even-n diols. This effect may be attributed to an odd-even effect, although other variables may be involved.

The enhanced properties of the L-C diol enamels are not simply explainable by the monomer raising the Tg of the coating. In fact, Tg s of the cross-linked enamels of 1b-g are abnormally low for hard coatings, and are similar to the much softer control enamels.


A non-L-C linear oligoester diol is prepared by heating a mixture of phthalic acid (PA), adipic acid (AA) and neopentyl glycol (NPG). The reaction of the mixture is effected under N2 at 230 C. with removal of H2 O until the acid number was less than 10 mg KOH/g. The sum of the mols of acids should be less than the mols of diols and the ratio should be in the range of 1:2 to 1:1.1. A particular example of a mixture of PA, AA and NPG at a mol ratio of 1:1:3 was highly satisfactory.

A mixture of the diol or polyol, PHBA, an acid catalyst and particularly p-TSA and solvent was heated under N2 in a 3-neck flask equipped with stirrer, Dean-Stark trap, condenser and thermometer. The PHBA was in substantially pure form so as not to affect catalytic action. The PHBA/diol or PHBA/polyol weight ratio varied from 20/80 to 60/40, but the preferred ratio is about 40/60; 0.2 weight % of p-TSA was used as an acid catalyst to provide a predominantly phenolic L-C oligoester diol or polyol. About 10 weight % of solvent was used; the amount was adjusted to maintain the temperature in the range of 210 C. to 250 C., and preferably in the range of 227 to 233 C. In an actual preparation the temperature was held at 230 +/-3 C. Distillate (cloudy H2 O) was collected in the Dean-Stark trap during 9 to 11 hr. The reaction mass was cooled to 115 C., and MIBK was added to yield a solution (20/80 PHBA/diol ratio) or suspension (other PHBA/diol ratios) of the crude L-C polyol. A preferred solvent is "Aromatic 150" sold by Exxon.

It is important that the acid catalyst be used and that the temperature be controlled to provide the L-C predominantly phenolic oligoesters of the invention. Likewise, it is important that the PHBA be used in the weight ratio range specified to give the L-C diols desired.

The linear oligoester diol was heated with salycilic acid and with MHBA using a similar procedure to yield modified polyols. 60% to 80% of theoretical distillation was obtained.


The crude L-C polyols made from 20/80 and 30/70 PHBA/diol ratios were concentrated and dissolved in CH2 CL2. The solution was washed 5 times with H2 O, dried with Na2 SO4, and concentrated on a rotary evaporator. The residues were heated at 120 C. to constant weight. The crude L-C polyols made from 40/60 to 60/40 ratios were purified similarly but were not washed with water. They were heated at about 80 C. under vacuum on a rotary evaporator to remove small amount of volatile, crystalline material.

Enamel preparation

Solutions or mixtures of L-C polyol, HMMM and p-TSA in a 75/25/0.25 weight ratio were cast on cold-rolled panels and baked at 175 C. for the specified time. Dry film thicknesses wee 20 to 25 μm.

Characterization and testing

1R spectra were recorded using a Perkin-Elmer 137 NaCl-prism spectrophotometer. A DuPont model 990 thermal analyzer was used for differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) at heating rates of 10/min. After the crystalline-mesophase transition temperature (Tm) was reached, the temperature was held for 1 min. before the scan was resumed. Capillary melting points were used to confirm the thermal data. Mn and Mw were determined by gel-permeation chromatograph (GPC) with a Waters model 520 pump equipped with a model R401 refractive index detector, a model M730 data analyzer, and Ultrastragel 100 A, 500 A, 1000 A and 10000 A columns. Mass analysis was performed. A Leitz Labolux microscope equipped with a polarizing filter was used for optical micrographs at 500 magnification; L-C polyols were cast on glass slides and were dried and observed at 25 C., and enamels were baked at 175 C. for 20 minutes on the glass slides.

Hydroxyl numbers were determined by the pyromellitic dianhydride/imidazole method. See: Demarest, B. O.; Harper, L. E. Journal of Coating Technology 1983, 55(701), 65-77. Impact resistance and pencil hardness were tested according to ASTM-D 2793 and ASTM-D 3363, respectively. Solvent resistance was tested by spotting films with methyl ethyl ketone. Potentiometric titration in DMF indicated that a substantial fraction of phenolic groups are present in the oligomers, but it has not yet been feasible to reproducibly obtain quantitative results because precipitate formed during titration.

This preparation yields PHBA-modified oligomers, apparently with side reactions. The odor of phenol was barely detectable in the products, indicating that little phenol had been formed. p-TSA catalyst plays a crucial role. When p-TSA was not used in the 30/70 PHBA/diol reaction only 75% of theoretical distillate was collected, and the product smelled strongly of phenol. Solvent also plays an important role by helping control temperature and by facilitating removal of water. If desired, the products can be purified as described to remove small amounts of unreacted PHBA and possibly of phenol.

Modification of the PA/AA/NPG diol with salicylic and m-hydroxybenzoic acids apparently did not proceed as smoothly as the modification with PHBA. No liquid crystals could be detected in the products by polarizing microscopy.

Potentiometric titration and infrared spectra (peak at 3400 cm-1) indicate that phenolic end groups predominate in the product oligomers.

Molecular weights determined by GPC are provided in Table 16. Also provided are rough estimates of the average number of PHBA units per number average molecule. These estimates were obtained by multiplying product Mn by the weight fraction of PHBA charged and dividing the result by 120, the molar mass of PHBA minus water.

              TABLE 16______________________________________Gel Permeation Chromatography of PolyolsPHBA/diol   ratio                       avg PHBAwt.     mol    M.sub.n M.sub.w                        M.sub.w /M.sub.n                               residue/molecule______________________________________ 0/100  --     1200    2000  1.7    --20/80   2.1/1  1400    2400  1.7    2.330/70   3.6/1  1100    1900  1.7    2.840/60   5.8/1   970    1600  1.6    3.250/50   8.8/1   670    1400  1.7    3.6 60/40*  13/1   830    1400  1.7    4.1______________________________________ *Filtered to remove a small fraction of THFinsoluble material.

The L-C character of PHBA-containing oligomers was demonstrated by polarizing microscopy as indicated in Table 17.

DSC data in Table 17 indicate that Tg increases with increasing PHBA/diol ratios except for the 60/40 PHBA/diol ratio.

              TABLE 17______________________________________Differential Scanning Calorimetry and Polarizing Microscopyof PolyolsPHBA/diolratio    0/100   20/80   30/70 40/60 50/50 60/40______________________________________T.sub.g (C.)    -10     7       14    19    27    14Appearance,    clear   a few   L-C   L-C   L-C   L-C500x             spots______________________________________
Enamel Coatings Properties

Clear coatings were formed by cross-linking the PHBA-modified oligomers with a standard melamine resin. Baking at 175 C. was necessary to obtain optimal properties. The cured films were nearly transparent and glossy except for films made from 60/40 PHEA ratio L-C polyol. Adhesion was excellent.

The outstanding feature of enamels made from 40/60 to 50/50 PHBA/diol ratio L-C polyols is that they are both very hard and very impact resistant as shown in Table 18.

              TABLE 18______________________________________Impact Resistance and Pencil Hardness of Baked EnamelsBaking Time(min) at PHBA/diol ratio175 C.    0/100   20/80   30/70 40/60 50/50 60/40______________________________________20       *(HB)   p(H)    p(H)  p(3H) p(4H) f(5H)40       *(HB)   p(H)    p(H)  p(3H) p(4H) f(5H)60       *(HB)   f(H)    p(2H) p(4H) f(5H) f(6H)______________________________________ p: passes 80 inlb reverse impact test; f: fails; *: appears to pass but cracks after standing several days.

The enamels described in Table 18 with pencil hardness of 3H to 6H had excellent solvent (methyl ethyl ketone) resistance.

The salycilic acid modified oligomers did not cure at 175 C. The MHBA modified oligomers cured at 175 C. to give hard films, but all failed the 80 in- lb impact resistance test.

Polarizing micrographs showed clear evidence of the presence of birefringent phases in enamel films made from polyols modified by 30 percent or more at PHBA. L-C regions were not visible in cured films made from the PA/AA/NPG polyol or from the MPHA-modified enamels.

The results of the above experiments indicate that meosgenic groups substantially enhance a polymer resin's coating quality. Grafting oligomeric segments derived from PHBA or TPA/PHBA onto coating resins yields resins that contain liquid crystalline (L-C) phases. These phases impart at least three benefits: "solution" viscosity is reduced by the formation of non-aqueous dispersions, dry-to-touch times are sharply reduced, and films are both hardened and toughened. Imparting L-C characteristics to a resin minimizes the hardness/impact resistance tradeoff necessary with non-modified coating resins.

Although the invention has been described with regard to its preferred embodiments, it should be understood that various changes and modifications as would be obvious to one having the ordinary skill in this art may be made without departing from the scope of the invention which is set forth in the claims appended hereto.

The various features of this invention which are believed new are set forth in the following claims.

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U.S. Classification528/195, 560/91, 560/109, 528/194
International ClassificationC08G81/00, C09D133/00, C09D167/00, C08G81/02
Cooperative ClassificationC09D167/00, C09D133/00, C08G81/027, C08G81/00
European ClassificationC09D133/00, C09D167/00, C08G81/00, C08G81/02F6
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